「兄弟･先生」 (Kyoudai / Sensei)
“Siblings / Teacher”
Episode at a Glance:
At the request of Kei’s father, Hikari visits his house so that the two of them can talk about some pro wrestling. At the Takashima house, Hikari is surprised to find out that Kei has a younger brother named Sui, who is just in the process of chasing out his tutor. After “accidently” kicking down the door to Sui’s room, Hikari agrees to help tutor him instead. Much to her surprise though, tutoring Sui turns out to be quite a handful. After a spur of the moment dragonfly catching contest against Kei, Hikari finds out Sui hates his older brother since he’s always compared to him. Having always realized this, Kei simply tells Sui that he knows he hates him and thinks nothing more of it.
Later on, Kei tells Hikari to stop bothering with Sui, which causes him to run off. She eventually finds him, but ends up banging her head against a railing after Sui trips. Sui then tries to carry Hikari back home since she’s hurt, but collapses on the way. Meanwhile, Kei somehow sensed Hikari’s injury and comes running through the bushes in a panic. Seeing Kei like this causes Sui to say he looks uncool (for a change), to which Kei responds by thanking him for carrying Hikari this far. The two then make up and the next day, Sui tells Hikari that he doesn’t need her to tutor him anymore because he prefers Kei, much to Hikari’s disappointment.
「祭り･勝負」 (Matsuri / Shoubu)
“Festival / Contest”
Oh my, it looks like we have a miniature Kei this episode (!) and lo and behold, he feels overshadowed by his older brother, who excels in everything. In that regard, it must really suck to be in Sui’s shoes. It’s kind of inevitable that everyone would compare him to his older brother too, so I guess you can’t really blame Sui for resenting Kei. When you think about it, Kei did give Sui some impossibly high standards to live up to. Their father on the other hand wasn’t quite as wacky as I thought he would be. Instead, he was more girly and unreliable than I expected, which makes me wonder if he simply inherited the Takishima Group from his dad. (I kid, I kid!) Aside from his dependency on Kei for meetings and such, “Mr. Takishima” does seem well-trained in um… martial arts pro wrestling (o_O?), since we see him and Hikari exchange some friendly blows as a greeting.
Seiyuu-wise, Sui is played by Shimizu Kaori, who happens to also play the childhood version of Kei. Given that Sui pretty much is the childhood version of Kei, I guess this was an obvious choice. As for Kei and Sui’s feminine looking/sounding father, he’s played by Ogata Megumi, who also played Ikari Shinji in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Back on the subject of Kei and Hikari, it turns out Sui did drop the big, “do you like Kei?” question on Hikari, to which she responded to with this face. Unfortunately for Kei though, our clueless Hikari still only sees him as a lifelong rival, which will undoubtedly continue for some time, if not until near the end of the series. Hikari may be #2 in the S.A class, but she’s definitely at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to relationship know-how. In any case, it’s been four episodes now and each of them have been highly Kei x Hikari focused, with the fifth episode not looking to be any different. Because of this, it’s pretty apparent that the other S.A students are taking a backseat role in the overall series. While one could argue that that was their role to begin with, I just can’t help but feel that their characters are being wasted. I mean, all we’ve seen from the other five so far has been pretty one-dimensional. i.e. We basically have the Hikari-loving, Tadashi-abusing Akari, the cheeky, often abused Tadashi, the mute, sketchbook-using Megumi, the mute, sketchbook-using girl’s twin brother Jun, and the animal-loving Ryuu. Granted, the series can continue along these lines and potentially end very well, I for one would like to see them make more use of the support cast just to mix things up for a change. In particular, Akari, Tadashi, and Megumi since they’ve casted seiyuus for them who have all starred in their own series before.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that each of the episodes so far have gone for touchy, sentimental moments such as this. While it’s perfectly fine if that’s the approach they want to take, I wish they’d screenplay it so that these scenes don’t come off so cheesy to me. I think the problem here is that they’re trying to build up viewer sentiments too quickly (i.e. within one episode) and then using those quickly developed sentiments to try to get an emotional response. Given the time span, it’s hard to feel anything for the characters or their situation, so perhaps some more time for emotional build-up would reduce the cheese-factor. Based on the preview for next episode, it seems like they’re going to rinse and repeat this process again, but I’ll have to wait and see to make sure.
Comedy-wise, I think the funniest scene for me was when Hikari hit her head after Sui stumbled and fell into her. While there were quite a few comedic facial expressions from Hikari this episode, that one definitely takes the cake. =) From the preview, we catch a glimpse of Hikari in quite a shock (and not a comedic one), so I wonder if she’s simply mesmerized by the water fountains or if Kei finally said something to her. Either way, I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
– Hanazono Hikari (華園 光) / Gotou Yuuko (後藤 邑子)
– Takishima Kei (滝島 彗) / Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)
– Toudou Akira (東堂 明) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Karino Tadashi (狩野 宙) / Shimono Hiro (下野 紘)
– Yamamoto Megumi (山本 芽) / Takagaki Ayahi (高垣 彩陽)
– Yamamoto Jun (山本 純) / Yonaga Tsubasa (代永 翼)
– Tsuji Ryuu (辻 竜) / Horie Kazuma (堀江 一眞)
– Takashima Sui (滝島 翠) / Shimizu Kaori (清水 香里)
– Hikari’s father (光の父) / Imaruoka Atsushi (伊丸岡 篤)
– Father Takashima (滝島父) / Ogata Megumi (緒方 恵美)